Gelam Tree

Gelam Tree


Photo credit: Teo Siyang

Do you know that Kampong Glam derived its name from the Gelam tree (Melaleuca cajuputi)? This district was named after the Gelam trees that were growing or planted in the area. 

‘Kampong’ refers to village in Malay and ‘Glam’ (or ‘gelam’) is the common name for tree from the myrtle family (Myrtaceae). This tree has a distinct papery bark and has many medicinal uses. The tree had also many practical uses for boat building.

Although the Gelam is extinct from the wild in Singapore, it is still widely planted and cultivated in the urban areas. And yes, you can even see some fine specimens planted in Kampong Glam!

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